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  • So have you ever wondered who actually invented the internet?

  • Some people have become zillionaires thanks to the internet

  • But all they did was invent clever ways of using the Internet

  • so the person who invented the internet should be a gazillionaire equivalent to

  • say God, shouldn't they? But who should get the credit then?

  • Was it a British geek in a Swiss underground lab?

  • Clever Americans threatened with nuclear annihilation by the Russians

  • Nice idea. French scientists

  • who decided to call the computer network the Le Internet.

  • Interesting. Or was it thanks to a myriad of smart scientists

  • working on something they knew was useful but didn't realize would be so big.

  • Well let's try and get some facts straight

  • There's the internet, the whole bunch of computer networks connected to each other,

  • and then there's the World Wide Web, a way of making it easier to share information

  • using all those interconnected computers. The Internet as we know it today

  • was at least forty years in the making. One popular but wrong story

  • is that the Internet was developed by the USA , so they had a communication network

  • that would survive a nuclear war. According to one of the founders of the

  • first network the, ARPANET, in the 1960s,

  • this first network experiment wasn't about communication at all.

  • It was about optimizing processor usage of time-sharing

  • which basically meant that scientists could share computer power, too

  • That was because until the nineteen sixties there was basically no network,

  • you had big machines called mainframes which sat in a room

  • and process computing tasks one at a time. With time-sharing

  • these behemoths could process several tasks at a time which meant that power could be

  • used by several scientists at once.

  • And obviously once you start connecting computers together,

  • you start to wonder about what you need to do to make communications between

  • them easier. Scientists around the world were trying to solve this problem

  • so let's look at some of the other key concepts that were developed elsewhere.

  • starting with packet switching. In Britain, there was a commercial network

  • developed by the National Physical Laboratory

  • but which never really got off the ground because it didn't get funding

  • but they did come up with the idea of packet switching,

  • a way of avoiding congestion in busy networks by cutting up data at one end

  • and putting it back together at the other. The French

  • also played a role, they were working on a scientific network called CYCLADES

  • but they didn't have a big budget so they decided to work on

  • direct connections between computers as opposed to working with Gateway computer.

  • Now as an aside here this admittedly isn't very scientific

  • But according to one theory, a spin off of their research

  • was the word "Internet". But you don't have to believe it if you don't want to.

  • so now it's the early nineteen seventies

  • There's quite a lot of computer infrastructure but communication is

  • awkward and patchy, because different networks can't talk to each other.

  • TCP IP solves this problem.

  • The TCP/IP protocols form the basic communication language of the Internet

  • which labels the packets of data and make sure that even though some pieces

  • of the same data take a different route,

  • they all arrive at their destination and can be reassembled.

  • Networks really began communicating with each other in 1975.

  • so you could argue that was the beginning of the Internet.

  • Email was also very important it was developed for ARPANET in 1972.

  • Most Internet traffic in 1976 was email

  • because academics thought electronic post-it notes were dead core.

  • With networks that could talk to each other, communication was becoming easier.

  • But all this communication was just text based

  • and it was pretty ugly to look at. In the nineteen eighties

  • a brat called Timothy Berners-Lee spent time with CERN, the European

  • Organization for Nuclear Research

  • where physicists are trying to work out what the universe is made of.

  • He wanted to manage the scientists information and make it possible for them to share

  • and interconnect their work easily making progress more likely.

  • He did so by inventing an interface using HTTP

  • HTML and URL's that made internet browsers possible.

  • He called his browser the World Wide Web, so he didn't invent the Internet

  • but he did invented the web.

  • The first-ever website which he created was at CERN in France in August 1991.

  • So once the initial infrastructure was in place the key technologies have been invented,

  • Internet message boards exploded in the nineteen eighties. The phone company saw

  • the commercial potential of digital communication.

  • Web browser spread like wildfire in the early nineteen nineties

  • and ordinary people discovered email then the

  • internet expanded rapidly and steadily and became workable for the masses

  • from about nineteen ninety-five. Hold on,

  • didn't US Vice President Al Gore invent the internet?

  • No. And if you read what he said exactly

  • you know he never claimed to have done. But many people credit him with

  • energetically pushing legislation that encouraged the spread of the Internet.

  • The internet exists because we need to communicate

  • and most of us like doing it. That's why humans have become

  • dominant species on Earth. You could argue

  • the Internet is a natural evolutionary step

  • and a manifestation of that need.

  • It wasn't invented by anyone in particular but when the building blocks

  • were put together by all those cool scientists from all over the place,

  • the Internet became a communication tool, a retail tool

  • a research tool, a propaganda tool, the spying tool,

  • a shopping tool ,a dating tool and entertainment tool

  • And a way of skiving off work while making it look like you're working or studying

  • which is what you may be doing now. Ultimately though,

  • you're communicating especially if you leave a comment

  • and that might make you a better human being.

So have you ever wondered who actually invented the internet?

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B1 US communication tool network invented computer web

Who Invented the Internet? And Why?

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    廖詩愉 posted on 2015/03/16
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